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In the News this Week...

brought to you by News Editor, Roger Bray

Copenhagen’s new museum ticket


Date: 23-Apr-2014

Visitors to Copenhagen will be able to by a new ticket this year covering entry to six museums. They are the David Collection, the Filmhouse, which shows Danish and international films, the Hirschsprung Collection, SMK (National Gallery of Denmark), the Danish Natural History (Geological) Museum and Rosenborg Castle. The museums form part of a new marketing initiative canned Parkmuseerne and are all within walking distance of each other via a path which runs through parks and gardens. The route includes the Botanical Garden. The ticket, available from May 24, will cost DKK 195.
 

Parkmuseerne

Photograph bears in Slovakia


Date: 22-Apr-2014

New hides - enabling visitors to photograph brown bears - have been built in the Tatra mountains of Slovakia. The three hides were constructed by Tatra Photography, which will use them for its four day wildlife photography courses. First it set up remote cameras at potential sites to find those most frequented by bears, then it erected the hides between February and March, while they were still hibernating. The firm, which plans to build a further six, offers packages, including flights from the UK, from £750.
 

Tatra bear

Anglo-French Chateau to re-open


Date: 18-Apr-2014

The Chateau d'Hardelot, a curious Anglo-French amalgam in Northern France, is scheduled to re-open fully to the public in July after restoration work. Though there was a castle here in the Middle Ages the present building, which was visited often by Charles Dickens, was built in the 19th century by a wealthy Bristol magistrate, Sir John Hare. It served as a location for scenes in Roman Polanski’s film Tess – based on the Hardy novel, which was, of course, set in Dorset. The castle and it garden are in Condette, close to the Channel in the Pas de Calais departement.

 

Chateau d'Hardelot

Eat and stay – new option in Lakes


Date: 17-Apr-2014

Askham Hall in the Lake District, a house dating from the 13th century, has opened fully as a restaurant with rooms. Its head chef is Richard Swale, who has worked at La Maison de Marc in Annecy and Noma and uses produce from the kitchen garden. Behind the project is Charles Lowther, who grew up at the Hall and has also taken a new broom the George & Dragon in nearby Clifton. Askham Hall opened for overnight stays on two days of the week late last year. Now it is open between Tuesday and Saturday, with b&b rates starting at £150 a night for two.

 

Askham Hall

WWI walks in the Dolomites


Date: 16-Apr-2014

Walks to explore key sites in the First World War conflict between Italy and Austria-Hungary are on offer for this summer from the Alta Badia Tourist Board in the Dolomites. Each Friday from June to September, expert guides will lead visitors to restored front line trenches and a kitchen and a soldiers’ dormitory dug into the base of the mountains. The route is demanding - 650m of it is €20 for adults. For more information on the region visit www.altabadia.org.
 

Dolomites walks

Hong Kong from Manchester


Date: 15-Apr-2014

Cathay Pacific is to fly between Hong Kong and Manchester again. The airline will start operating the route four times a week from December 8, using a Boeing 777-300ER jet with economy, premium economy and business cabins. Flights will leave Manchester on Mondays, Tuesdays, Thursdays and Saturdays, arriving at 7.55am next day. Departures from Hong Kong will be at 1am on the same days, arriving at 6.20am. Cathay last operated passenger services on the route 13 years ago.
 


Budapest gets Boris bikes


Date: 14-Apr-2014

A public bike sharing scheme will be launched in Budapest at the end of this month. Around 1000 bikes will be available at 74 docking stations. Borrowers will need a special smart card, a “Bubi” (Budapest Bike) pass or a day ticket. The first hour will be free. After that there will be a charge but it will be the same price as a single public transport ticket – which is less than £1. To accommodate greater bike use, some traffic junctions in the Hungarian capital have been reconfigured and more cycle paths created. For more information go to www.bkk.hu/en
 


Ride with mustangs


Date: 11-Apr-2014

Guests will stay in tipis more luxurious than anything Sitting Bull knew at Mustang Monument – a new eco resort scheduled to open in the mountains of northern Nevada in June. A 24hr butler service, beds with down pillows and spa treatments are all promised. The resort is part of a reserve, spread over more than 900 square miles, which has been created to protect America’s wild mustangs. It was established by Madeleine Pickens, wife of billionaire T Boone Pickens. So far about 600, acquired from members of the Paiute tribe before the horses could be sent for slaughter, brought there. Besides “safaris” to see the mustangs@, activities for guests will include horseback riding, roping lessons and guided hikes. From September,.  accommodation will also include one and two bedroom cabins. None of this will come cheap, with resort rates for a four day package, for example, being advertised at $4000.
 

Mustang Monument Wild Hores Eco-Resort

Royal history exhibitions open in York


Date: 10-Apr-2014

Two new exhibitions related to the life of Richard III have opened in York. One, in Monk Bar, will deal with the monarch himself, whose remains have been discovered beneath a car park in Leicester. The other, in Micklegate Bar, will concentrate on his nemesis, Henry VII and the times in which he lived. They focus in particular on visits by the Kings to York in the late 15th century and their wider links with Yorkshire -  including the battles of Wakefield and Towton and Henry’s marriage to Elizabeth of York, which resulted in creation of the Tudor rose. Further details are at www.richardiiiexperience.com and www.henryviiexperience.com.
 


New flights to Athens and Riga


Date: 09-Apr-2014

Greek airline Aegean will fly between Birmingham and Athens this summer. From June 10 until September 13 it will operate twice a week, on Saturdays and Tuesdays. Then it will fly once a week, on Saturdays, until October 25. Last year the airline launched services to the Greek capital from Heathrow and Manchester. And Budget operator Wizz Air is to launch twice weekly flights between Robin Hood Airport (Doncaster Sheffield) and the Latvian capital, Riga , on June 20.
 

Aegean

Bank becomes Istanbul hotel


Date: 08-Apr-2014

Original features from the latter days of the Ottoman Empire have been preserved at a new boutique hotel in Istanbul. Called Vault Karakoy the House, it owes its name to the fact that one of the two back-to-back properties it occupies is a mid 19th century neo-renaissance bank building. Marble staircases, ceramic tiles and intricately stencilled ceilings are among the original features retained. The 63 room hotel is in the Karakoy district, a 15 minute walk from the old heart of Istanbul across the Galata Bridge. It has a spa and a terrace restaurant with views over the Bosphorus and Golden Horn.

Vault Karakoy the House Hotel

Southend gets new flights


Date: 07-Apr-2014

Flybe is to launch six routes from Southend Airport. On June 5 it will start flying to Rennes in France, Groningen in the Netherlands and Munster-Osnabruck in Germany. Services to the other destinations – Cologne-Bonn, Caen in Normandy and Antwerp – will start on July 3. The flights will be operated by Flybe’s franchise partner Stobart Air, which also runs the airport.
 


Rail bookings to France open earlier


Date: 05-Apr-2014

Holidaymakers planning peak summer rail travel to France this summer will be able to book earlier than they have in the past. Reservations for travel through Voyages-sncf.com (that’s the new name for Rail Europe) for trips until August 24 open on Wednesday (Thursday - April 3). That’s an extension of seven weeks in the former 90 day maximum advance booking period. From May 15 passengers will be able to book seats from August 25 – 31.
 


Cruise line’s dining revolution


Date: 04-Apr-2014

Jamie’s Italian is to take to the waves as part of a major dining shake up on Royal Caribbean’s forthcoming Quantum class ships. Guests aboard Quantum of the Seas and Anthem of the Seas, which make their debuts in November and April 2015 respectively, will have a choice of 18 places to eat. No more the huge main dining room:  dinner at five different full service restaurants will be included in the cruise price – with cooking ranging from American to Mediterranean and Asian. Besides Jamie Oliver’s Italian eateries there will be three other speciality restaurants, including one for calorie watchers and a US gastropub. As we already reported, the cruise line is also introducing an advance table reservations system.
 

Quantum of the Seas

Amsterdam flights from Kent suspended


Date: 03-Apr-2014

KLM Cityhopper is to suspend its flights to Amsterdam from Manston in Kent from April 10, noting that “the continuous uncertainty surrounding the future of the airport means the airline is unable to guarantee flights will be operated. Passengers booked to fly on or after that date will be offered alternative departures on KLM from Heathrow. The management of Manston is currently consulting staff about the airport’s future.
 


Hotel opens in Gatwick terminal


Date: 02-Apr-2014

A hotel has opened at Gatwick Airport's South Terminal. With 245 rooms and free wi fi the BLOC hotel is only a short walk to check in. For rates, bookings and further information, got to www.blochotels.com.
 


SAS extends advanced seat selection


Date: 01-Apr-2014

Short haul travellers with the cheapest tickets on SAS can now select seats as soon as they book their fights. Previously they had to wait until on line check in opened, 22 hours before departure. The service will cost €12 per flight. It has long been available free to premium fare passengers and upper tier members of the Scandinavian airline’s loyalty scheme. For other travellers it was available only on long haul trips. Now they can choose seats well in advance to destinations within Scandinavia and to the rest of Europe.
 


E-newspapers for hotel guests


Date: 31-Mar-2014

Guests at Shangri-La hotels can now read digital versions of their favourite newspapers. They can to access over 2000 publications based in 100 countries – and in 60 languages – by using the hotels’ free Wi-Fi service. If customers request it, hotels will print copies. The Hong Kong-based group, which comprises more than 80 luxury hotels, says print editions of selected newspapers will also still be available “on request”.
 


New hotel in St Andrews


Date: 28-Mar-2014

St Andrews gets a new luxury hotel next week with the opening of a 22 room Hotel du Vin. The stone and slate property, which incorporates an adjacent, refurnished pub, is in the Old Town, close to the Royal and Ancient Golf Club’s 1st tee. Its Bistro overlooks the bay.

 


Alitalia launches direct Palermo flights


Date: 27-Mar-2014

Travelling to Sicily continues to become easier. Time was when flying to Palermo could involve a change on the Italian mainland. From next week there will be two non stop options from Gatwick when Alitalia’s low cost subsidiary Air One launches flights to the Sicilian capital in competition with easyJet, which already operates there.
 


Mallorca: new rural hotel to open


Date: 26-Mar-2014

A 500 year old farm in Mallorca is set to become a hotel. Finca Dalt Murada, in the Binissalem, wine producing region - is scheduled to open in May following renovation and conversion. Sister to the four star Hotel Dalt Murada, about 20 minutes’ drive away in Palma. It will have a pool and will provide bikes for guests wanting to gently explore the surrounding countryside. An opening deal is offer at €700 per double room for a week with breakfast. Guests can combine five nights at the new property with two at the Palma hotel.
 


Cruise line offers men dance partners


Date: 25-Mar-2014

Single men need no longer be wallflowers on Crystal Cruises. The line is to provide partners on its ballroom dancing themed Transatlantic crossings. It has long provided “Ambassador Hosts” for unaccompanied women passengers – or those whose husbands or partners don’t dance. Now there will be two potential partners for men. The first voyages on which they will appear are Lisbon – Miami (5 October 5 2014 and 11 December 2015) and New York – London (12 June 2015).
 


Morocco: riding holidays launched


Date: 22-Mar-2014

Horseback holidays in Morocco have been introduced by specialist tour operator In the Saddle. Four itineraries are available, one in the High Atlas mountains, others taking in the desert and Atlantic coast. Travellers will ride Barb Arabian horses. Depending on the route, they will stay en route in tents or in riads and lodges. One package will be based on a single centre.
 

Morocco riding holidays

French marshes to get new visitor centre


Date: 20-Mar-2014

A new interpretation centre is scheduled to open this summer in the fascinating French wetlands known as the Audomarois marshes. The Maison du Marais, close to the centre of St Omer, will house permanent and temporary exhibitions focusing on themes such as their history, daily life, culture, flora and fauna and using audio, video and olfactory systems. Outside around the Moulin d’Aile drainage windmill, will be conservation garden, access to a 4km educational trail – and a jetty where visitors may board boats for trips around the marshes.
 


United to fly from Heathrow’s new T2


Date: 19-Mar-2014

United Airlines will move all its Heathrow flights to Terminal 2 there when the newly developed building opens on June 4. At present its operations are split between Terminals 1 and 4. The airline operates up to 17 services a day from Heathrow to Chicago, Houston, Los Angeles, New York, San Francisco and Washington. At the same time, celebrity chef Heston Blumenthal will open a restaurant – The Perfectionists’ Café - in the new terminal.
 


Cambridge flights to be suspended


Date: 18-Mar-2014

Flights from Cambridge to Amsterdam and Geneva will be suspended temporarily from March 30, following a decision operations by Etihad Regional to review its operations at the East Anglian airport. Etihad Regional is the new incarnation of Swiss carrier Darwin Airline, which launched the Amsterdam and Geneva flights. Darwin’s name was changed recently after investment from the United Arab Emirates airline Etihad.
 


Greek attractions to open longer


Date: 17-Mar-2014

Thirty major archaeological sites and museums in Greece have harmonised and significantly extended their opening hours. From April 1 until the end of October they will be open from 8am to 8pm. Sites include the Acropolis (the museum will open until 10pm- on Fridays), Delphi, Mycenae, Knossos (Crete) and Epidaurus. Attractions listed account for 95% of visits to such cultural attractions. They also include the National Archaeological and the Byzantine and Christian Museums in Athens, the Byzantine Culture and White Tower Museums in Thessaloniki and the Palace of the Grand Master of the Knights of Rhodes. Visitors will be able to buy tickets valid at ten of the attractions for €12.
 

The Acropolis, Athens

Great War tour app launched


Date: 15-Mar-2014

Self-guided tours of the Western Front are available via iPhone and Android apps. They provide audio guides, video, vintage images and location assistance on five themes: the Battles of Artois and Mont-Saint-Eloi (Pas de Calais), “Mateship and Cobbers in Fromelles (Nord), “From all around the world to Beamont Hamel (Somme), “Between sky and earth on the Chemin des Dames (Aisne) and “Lijssenthoek: dally reflections of the Great War (Flanders).

 


New ski routes for Jet2


Date: 14-Mar-2014

Budget airline Jet2 plans to start two new ski routes next winter. Between December 20 and April 11 it will operate weekly flights from Manchester to Turin and Edinburgh to Geneva. Departures will be on Saturdays.

 


Picasso Museum set to re-open


Date: 13-Mar-2014

The Picasso Museum in Paris is scheduled to re-open in June following a massive, €52m revamp. The museum is housed in the 17th century baroque Hôtel Salé, in the Marais district. The space available has been more than doubled, allowing many more works to be exhibited simultaneously. The collection comprises not only those by Picasso himself but other artists whose work acquired, including Matisse. Visitors will also be able to relax at a new terrace café.
 


Lufthansa launches premium economy


Date: 12-Mar-2014

It has been a slow burning revolution – but the airline move towards premium economy is now catching fire. Latest to join in is Lufthansa, which plans to have fitted the extra leg room cabins on its entire long haul fleet by this time next year. The move will be welcomed by many silver travellers unwilling to fork out for business class but prepared to pay extra for more space and comfort. A significant number of travellers living in the Midlands the north and Scotland connect with Lufthansa long haul services in Frankfurt or Munich rather than flying via London. The German airline says seats in its premium economy cabin will offer 50% more leg room than those in standard economy. Passengers booking it will get a greater luggage allowance and will be able to use the business lounge for an additional €25.
 


Online holiday fraud warning


Date: 11-Mar-2014

Nine per cent of consumers fail to check the credentials of the travel company they book with online, according to research commissioned by ABTA (Association of British Travel Agents). It quotes a report from the City of London Police National Fraud Intelligence Bureau (NFIB) which revealed fraudsters conned unsuspecting holiday bookers out of estimated £7 million last year. About one third (30%) were scammed by fraudulent ads for villas or apartments – some arriving to find they had no accommodation. Just over a fifth (21%) bought fake air tickets – or tickets that didn’t turn up. Also commonly targeted were people booking packages to sporting or other special events. Research the firm’s credibility painstakingly, ABTA warns, not just relaying on one review. Check whether the company is a member of a trade body – such as ABTA itself or AITO (Association of Independent Tour Operators) – and ensure that its web address is legitimate and that fraudsters haven’t borrowed someone else’s by tweaking it slightly – such as changing .co.uk to .com. Pay with a credit card rather than by direct bank transfer, says the association, carefully study all paperwork and receipts and bear in mind that “if something sounds too good to be true, it probably is”. The NFIB urged those who have fallen foul of fraudsters to contact Action Fraud (www.actionfraud.police.uk  0300 123  2040) to help it identify and target those responsible.
 


Ritz-Carlton opens in Kyoto


Date: 08-Mar-2014

A new five star hotel has opened on the Kamogawa river in the former Japanese capital of Kyoto. The 136 room Ritz-Carlton has a spa with a gym and a 20 metre indoor pool. Kyoto and its surroundings are home to the biggest concentration of cultural treasures in Japan, from old houses whose ownership spans ten generations to more than 2000 temples and shrines.
 

Kyoto

Dutch art treasures homeward bound


Date: 07-Mar-2014

Home to two of the world’s best known paintings, the Mauritshuis in The Hague , is scheduled to re-open on June 27 after a major renovation and extension. The paintings in question - Vermeer’s Girl with a Pearl Earring and Fabritius’ The Goldfinch  - have been on tour during while the museum’s original 17th century premises have been refurbished and linked with a building opposite. A spotlight has been turned don both works by bestselling novels, written respectively by Tracy Chevalier and, more recently, Donna Tartt.
 


Free ski passes for silver skiers


Date: 06-Mar-2014

Hotels in over 20 resorts in Austria’s Salzburg province are taking part in a 60-plus week from March 29 until April 5. Guests get a free six day lift pass. Among the hotels the Grossarler Hof – described as four star superior – in the village of Grossarl. It’s throwing in a range of activities, including concerts, ski guiding and a trip to ski other resorts in the area. The hotel has a spa. The week, which is available to anyone born in or before 1954, costs €738 (about £630). More information at www.skiamade.com/en/winter and also see www.inghams.co.uk/ski-holidays/ski-resorts/austria/filzmoos
 

Grossarler Hof

Parking fees planned at Wakehurst


Date: 05-Mar-2014

Members of the National Trust visiting Wakehurst Place in West Sussex will have to pay to park from mid to late April. The Trust says the revenue is needed to ensure the future of the Royal Botanical Gardens at Kew. The gardens and Elizabethan mansion at Wakehurst attract some 400,000 visitors a year on average. They form Kew’s country estate. The property incorporates the Millennium Seed Bank, where seeds from over 10% of the world’s plant species are conserved. The charges will be £2 per car for the first hour, £5 for 2hrs and £10 for the day. Friends of Kew, Wakehurst Place season ticket holders and those who buy day tickets will be exempt.
 


New hotel in Edinburgh


Date: 04-Mar-2014

Scotland’s capital has a new hotel. The Ibis Edinburgh Centre South Bridge hotel is just off the Royal Mile and within walking distance of the castle. The second of two Ibis hotels opened in Edinburgh, it has 259 bedrooms, 13 of which are designed for guests with reduced mobility. Discounted parking is available at an NCP car park (£10 per 24hrs).
 

Ibis Edinburgh Centre South Bridge

Logis guide expands


Date: 03-Mar-2014

Portugal has been added to the International Logis Guide for the first time. The guide covers almost 2600 independent hotels with restaurants in France, – where it was founded - Italy, Germany, Spain, Andorra, Belgium, Luxembourg, the Netherlands. Go to www.logishotels.com or pick it up at tourist offices or participating hotels.
 


Coca-Cola plant to become boutique hotel


Date: 28-Feb-2014

A former Coca-Cola bottling plant is being converted into a four star boutique hotel in the old centre of Savannah, Georgia. Scheduled to open in May on Washington Square, The Brice is under development by the San Francisco based Kimpton Hotels & Restaurants chain. It will have 145 rooms. The property, which was built in the 1860s, previously also housed other businesses including a grocery store and a machine shop.
 


Dominica hikes launched


Date: 27-Feb-2014

Hikes on Dominica’s newly completed Waitukubuli National Trail have been introduced by a British tour operator. The route runs from north to south across the stunningly beautiful Caribbean island, passing through areas of pristine rainforest and over log bridge and stepping stones.
KE Adventure Travel has launched nine night guided holidays with accommodation in guest houses and hotels. Departure dates are in April, May and December and prices start at £2745 including all meals and flights.
 


Traditional French river boats for hire


Date: 26-Feb-2014

New boats built on traditional lines are now available for hire on the River Mayenne in western France. Known as Toue Cabanée, the flat bottomed craft were used originally to transport people and goods. They sleep up to four people. Boats also have kitchens and space for al fresco dining. They can be rented from a base at Loigné-sur-Mayenne to cruise a 60 mile stretch of the river. Three days’ hire cost from £335, a week from £700.

http://touemayenne.fr/


 

Toue Cabanée

New tropical trek


Date: 25-Feb-2014

A new trek though tropical jungle taking in Mayan ancient sites has been launched by the Guatemala Tourist Board. Groups of up to 15 spend three days following the Buenavista Valley for 50 kilometres between the Cruce de dos Aguas community and Tikal National Park. This was a major Mayan trading route between 800BC and 1200AD. It was controlled from the city of El Zotz, whose remains trekkers visit on the way. The trail runs through the largest nature reserve in Guatemala, home to tropical birds, millions of bats – and howler and spider monkeys - which occupies 19 per cent of the country. Book via the Cruce de Dos Aguas Tourism Commission on 00502 45366662/46468019 or email turismocomunitario@yahoo.com.
 

Maya trek

Delta to fly London – Chicago


Date: 24-Feb-2014

Expect new short break deals in Chicago when competition in the air heats up next winter. Major carrier Delta Airlines plans to launch daily flights there from Heathrow on October 26. Delta says its partner airline Virgin Atlantic will continue to operate a summer service on the route. British Airways and American Airlines also fly between Heathrow and Chicago.
 


Boutique hotel opens in Dundee


Date: 23-Feb-2014

A new boutique hotel has opened in Dundee. The 91 room Malmaison overlooks the Tay and Captain Scott’s polar exploration ship Discovery. The property, which incorporates a brasserie overlooking the river, has been developed on the premises of the former Mather’s and Tay Hotels. B&b rates start at £99.
 


New Bogota flights from London


Date: 23-Feb-2014

Colombian airline Avianca is to launch direct services between Heathrow and Bogota in early July. It last operated non stop flights on the route nearly a decade ago. The carrier plans to operate four round trips a week, using Airbus 330-200 aircraft.
 


New Peru hiking guide


Date: 21-Feb-2014

It’s 40 years since Hilary and George Bradt published what is claimed to have been the first travel guide covering the Inca Trail from Cusco's Sacred Valley to Machu Picchu. The first Bradt Guide - Backpacking Along Ancient Ways in Peru and Bolivia - has undergone multiple updates since and has now been reissued to mark the anniversary as Trekking Peru. The new guide (£12.99) covers 50 walks and hikes.
 


Shard hotel to open in May


Date: 21-Feb-2014

The luxury Hong Kong based Shangri-La group has fixed May 6 for the opening of its hotel in the Shard. Claimed to be the tallest hotel in Europe, the 202 room Shangri-La Hotel At The Shard will occupy floors 34 – 52 of the 306 metre high building. Rooms will have floor to ceiling windows with views across the city. On clear days guests in superior rooms and suites will be able to see as far as Kent, Surrey and Sussex. Opening rates will start at £450 per night.
 

Shangri-La Hotel At The Shard

African art safaris launched


Date: 20-Feb-2014

Paint and sketch the grand landscapes and wildlife of Africa. That’s the offer from old established tour operator Cox & Kings, which has partnered with an African company, Art Safaris to launch a new series of holidays in Kenya, Malawi and Zambia. Whether beginners or experience artists, they will be accompanied by professional tutors and guides. A 10 day trip to Zambia in in October, for example, costs £2895, including flights from London. .
 

Art Safaris - Cox & Kings

Grizzly fish fest – new tours


Date: 20-Feb-2014

It seems that every grizzly bear that ever there was turns up in autumn to gorge on salmon at Bear Cave Mountain in the far north of Yukon. Now Wildlife Worldwide is to operate tours allowing customers to watch a photograph the spectacle. Thermal activity on the Fish Branch River, just south of the Arctic Circle and all around it the silent wilderness is already locked in the grip of winter, the river still flows freely. This thermal activity filters and oxygenates the water, creates ideal conditions for salmon eggs to thrive – and up to 50 bears gather to catch the fish as they head upriver from the Bering Sea to spawn. Tours will be led by naturalist and wildlife photographer Phil Timpany. Travellers stay in a cabin where bears often come very close. The trip, including all flights and Arctic clothing, run from mid-September to late October and cost from £10,950. More information at www.wildlifeworldwide.com.
 

Grizzly of Bear Cave Mountain

Luton to get new Istanbul link


Date: 19-Feb-2014

New flights between Luton Airport and Istanbul are schedule to take off in spring. Turkish airline AtlasJet will launch a daily service on May 2 using an Airbus 321-200 jet, with fares starting at £148 return.
 

Hagia Sophia, Istanbul - courtesy of www.goturkey.co.uk

Superb snow for Colorado skiers


Date: 19-Feb-2014

Contemplating a last minute ski trip? The Colorado Rockies have seen phenomenal snowfall since late January. As of today Breckenridge, for example, claimed to have received 28 inches in the previous seven days alone. Aspen reported 16 inches of new. Skiers and snowboarders there, and at other resorts including Snowmass and Beaver Creek have been enjoying what are described as “incredible” powder conditions.
 


Turkey to launch e-visas


Date: 18-Feb-2014

Travellers to Turkey will need to get visas on line – or from the Turkish Consulate in London - from April 10. It will no longer be possible to buy visas at airports or other entry points. Cruise ship passengers making day excursions ashore will still be able to do so without visas. The Foreign Office warns: “Some unauthorised websites may charge for information about e-visas, and for submitting applications. These websites are not endorsed by or associated with the Turkish government. Be wary of such sites and businesses, particularly those that seek additional fees for other services.”
 


Anne Boleyn exhibition planned


Date: 17-Feb-2014

A new permanent exhibition focusing on the life of Anne Boleyn will open in May at her childhood home – Hever Castle in Kent. The exhibition, in the Long Gallery, will use costumed figures to illustrate three key events in her life. The original medieval castle was built in 1270. The Bullen family added the Tudor dwelling within its walls, living there during the 15th and 16th centuries. Its panelled rooms contain fine furniture, tapestries, an important collection of Tudor portraits and artefacts including two Books of Hours signed and inscribed by Anne Boleyn.
 

Hever Castle

Flybe expands at Birmingham


Date: 07-Feb-2014

Flybe is to launch flights to seven new destinations from Birmingham airport. The regional airline, which has given its route network a major makeover in recent months, will start flying to Alicante, Cologne, Florence and Porto on April 10, and to Bordeaux, Palma and Toulouse on May 13.
 


Book cruise dinner before you sail


Date: 06-Feb-2014

Silversea passengers can now make advance on line reservations in speciality restaurants on the luxury cruise line’s ships and book services such as beauty treatments and shore excursions. The new personal login area is available at www.silversea.com.
 

Silversea

Zurich’s art spectacular


Date: 05-Feb-2014

“From Matisse to the Blaue Reiter” is the theme of a major exhibition opening at Zurich’s Kunsthaus this week. Focusing on expressionism in Germany and France it runs from February 7 until May 11. Over 100 works by nearly 40 artists will include paintings by Gauguin, Ernst Kirchner, Kandinsky, Franz Marc and August Macke. The exhibition will be split in sections, including those covering the work of Van Gogh, the fauves and cubism.
 


Mumbai’s new terminal set to open


Date: 04-Feb-2014

International passengers will start using Mumbai Airport’s new Terminal 2 on February 12. The building will incorporate a hugely increased number of immigration and emigration counters. There will be 52 boarding bridges compared with the airport’s current total of 20. Access from the city’s Western Express Highway will be via a newly built, six lane elevated expressway.
 


easyJet drops Amman and Istanbul


Date: 03-Feb-2014

easyJet is to axes its flights from Gatwick to Amman and from Luton to Istanbul, saying passenger demand “has not been at a viable level” to make it worthwhile maintaining them. The last Istanbul flight will be on 28th March and the last service between London and the Jordanian capital will depart on 4th May.
 


Yacht hotels to open


Date: 31-Jan-2014

The opening of two yacht hotels – one in London, the other off Gibraltar – is scheduled for March. The superyacht headed for London will be moored close to the ExCel exhibition centre. It will have 138 rooms and suites over five floors, a restaurant and a gym. The Gibraltar hotel, at the Ocean Village, promises wall-to-wall and floor-to-ceiling windows with private terraces and balconies affording views of the Mediterranean and the Rock, It will have 189 rooms on seven levels, a top floor restaurant with a retractable roof, a pool, a spa and fitness centre and a casino. The company behind the hotels is Sunborn, based at Turku in Finland.
 


Cruise and walk in the Caribbean


Date: 30-Jan-2014

Ramblers Worldwide Holidays is offering two holidays combining cruising and walking in the Caribbean for the first time next winter. Both packages start with flights to Barbados. For example the February departure includes walks there, then in Tortola, Cuba, Grand Turk, St Kitts, St Maarten and Antigua. Prices of the 16 night deals start at £2590 depending on cabin choice aboard the Fred Olsen cruise ship Braemar.


Reef kayak trail launched


Date: 29-Jan-2014

A new sea kayaking trail has been launched by Capricorn Seakayaking along Ningaloo Reef, off the coast of Western Australia. Less celebrated than the Great Barrier Reef it’s a great place to see coral, tropical fish – including manta rays – and turtles. A three day trip, including meals, equipment, transport, camping and park fees costs around £545.
 

Seakayaking

Dusseldorf flights from London City


Date: 28-Jan-2014

Flights between London City Airport and Dusseldorf are scheduled to take off in April. They will be operated by Switzerland’s Darwin Airline on behalf of Etihad Regional, a newly created offshoot of Abu Dhabi based Etihad Airways. Darwin, in which Etihad Airways will take a one third stake, already flies from Cambridge to Geneva and other European destinations.
 


Long distance footpath to open


Date: 27-Jan-2014

Britain’s latest long distance walking route, the National Forest Way, is scheduled to open in May. It will run for over 75 miles between the National Memorial Arboretum in Staffordshire and Beacon Hill Country Park in Leicestershire passing through young and ancient woodland, market towns and sites of industrial heritage interest. To be launched during the 2014 National Forest Walking Festival, it is being created through a partnership between the National Forest Company and Derbyshire, Leicestershire and Staffordshire County, Councils, with support from chartered surveyor and property consultant Fisher German.
 


Heathrow gets new Germany flights


Date: 24-Jan-2014

Germanwings has started flying from Heathrow to Berlin’s Tegel Airport and Hamburg. The airline is operating up to three round trips a day on both routes. And Austrian Airlines will increase its service between Heathrow and Vienna from March 30 – from three a day to four. The extra flight will depart from London at 12.45pm and from the Austrian capital at 3.20pm.
 




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